PERU — A new wastewater treatment system being installed for South Acres Mobile Home Park has opened the possibility for expansion by up to 70 new sites.
Construction began in August at the park on Route 22 south of Plattsburgh to replace the failing individual septic systems with a new public system into which all the lots will feed.
“This is a good example of how everyone has come together to save this beautiful park,” said owner Tam Phung. “This could have been another park closing because of major hardships, but everything looks nice for the future.”
When Phung purchased the park and surrounding land in 2006, he met with the Clinton County Health Department to discuss a possible expansion, but Health Department officials were concerned about the aging infrastructure of the existing lots.
“The park was 25 years old (at the time),” said John Kanoza, director of the Health Department’s Environmental Division. “Septic systems typically have a life span of 20 to 30 years, and we were starting to see systems failing at South Acres.”
The individual systems were set up so that every two lot owners fed into one septic tank and leach field. Kanoza advised Phung that the only feasible way to consider expansion at the park was to replace the failing systems with a community-wide treatment setup.
“The landowner then worked with engineers on a sand-filtered system with discharge into a nearby stream,” he said. “But that kind of system was not eligible for grant money, and the project was too expensive for the owner alone.”
Engineers developed a second design that included treatment and discharge into absorption beds at a nearby ground site where the discharge would be treated by naturally occurring microbes in the soil.
That plan was approved by the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Clinton County Health Department in early 2012.